Honors and Excellence Program Resources

Prospective Scholarship Candidates seek out research and leadership opportunities, cultivate relationships with key mentors, curate portfolios of original work, and take strategic risks in order to innovate and achieve greater impact on the world around them. 

The UCI campus surrounds our applicants with an ecosystem of support for these ambitious endeavors. We are grateful for the continued engagement of the honors and excellence programs listed below for inspiring our students to envision a brilliant future that represents our Anteater identities and values, and to lead us into that brilliant future together. 

Further, we encourage prospective applicants to select, from the dazzling array of options below, discipline-specific pathways to craft their own unique brands of intellectual and practical leadership.

School-Based Honors Programs

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School of Arts Honors Programs

Description: Students interested in pursuing an honors program under the School of Arts have the opportunity to gain further knowledge and skills in the fields of Acting, Design, Directing, Dramatic Literature, History, and Theory, Music and Culture, Music Theatre, Stage Management, and Art. 

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Honors in Acting

The top 10-20% of eligible students who audition for the Honors in Acting Program will be accepted, and then nominated for national University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA) auditions upon graduation. 

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Honors in Design

Alongside graduate students and faculty designers, Drama majors will focus on scenery, costume, lighting, or sound design, and have the chance to design their own production at UCI. 

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Honors in Directing

If admitted to this competitive program, Drama majors will study stage direction in studio classes with graduate students, direct two plays in the Director Class Project series, and possibly serve as an assistant director or production intern.

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Honors in Dramatic Literature, History, & Theory

This selective honors program challenges Drama students in their writing, analytical, and research skills beyond their major requirements and concludes with an Honors Thesis. 

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Honors in Music & Culture

Students planning to study music, arts criticism, humanities, social sciences, or law in graduate school are encouraged to apply to the Honors Program in Music & Culture, which consists of upper-division courses and a Capstone Project. 

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Honors in Music Theatre

Music theatre graduating seniors who meet major course and GPA requirements will receive Honors denotation upon graduation. 

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Honors in Stage Management

Honors in Stage Management offers Drama majors the opportunity to study stage management with graduate students, work as assistant stage managers, and stage manage a production at UCI. 

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Honors in Art

Junior or Seniors interested in graduate school and/or exhibition careers can apply to the Honors in Art Program to develop their critical, analytical, and technical skills. 

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School of Biological Sciences Honors Program

Description: The School of Biological Sciences Program offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research through the Excellence in Biological Sciences Research Program (more info under Research & Creative Excellence Programs). 

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CalTeach 

Undergraduate STEM students wishing to pursue a career in education can obtain a bachelor's degree and teaching credential in four years through CalTeach (majors offered: Mathematics, Biology/Education, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth System Science). 

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Business Programs 

Leadership Experience And Development for Success (LEADS)

Business Administration and Business Information Management majors in the Merage School of Business are able to join the LEADS Program to hone their soft skills including networking, problem-solving, and communication. 

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Engineering Programs

Engineering Design in Industry (MAE 188)

With the advising of faculty and company-based advisors, Engineering Seniors study problem solving in an industrial context both in class, laboratories, and at company sites. 

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Program in International Engineering (PIE)

As the only Californian program that trains engineers in a global economy, the five-year PIE program sends students abroad to earn degrees in engineering and German. 

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School of Humanities Honors Program

Description: Exceptional students of all majors who are interested in studying humanistic inquiry have access to independent research with a stipend, small but stimulating seminars, and faculty and peer support in this two-year honors program. 

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School of Information & Computer Sciences Honors Program

Description: Under the supervision of a faculty member in the Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, upper-division students carry out research projects that culminate in a final report reviewed by their faculty and honors advisors. 

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BS in Nursing Science Program

Students enrolled in this four-year program will earn a bachelor’s degree to prepare them for a career in nursing through hands-on experience in diverse populations, simulation equipment, and leadership development. 

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School of Physical Sciences Honors Programs

Description: Students interested in pursuing an honors program under the School of Physical Sciences have the opportunity to engage in research with faculty in Chemistry, Earth System Science, Mathematics, and Physics. 

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Honors in Chemistry

Select Chemistry majors are invited to participate in this program to conduct honors quality research after learning scientific writing and presenting a research seminar. 

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Honors in Earth System Science 

Earth System Science and Environmental Science major seniors who have completed faculty-guided research are promoted to the honors program, where they will conduct original advanced research in ESS laboratories and communicate scientific findings. 

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Honors in Math

The Honors Program in Math prepares junior and senior students for graduate work in mathematics if they meet the major and overall GPA requirements. 

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Honors in Physics

Exceptional Physics majors enroll in a year-long course, Physics H196A-B-C, in which they complete research for a written thesis to earn Departmental Honors in Physics. 

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School of Social Ecology Honors Program

Description: Academically excelling students showing an interest in research are invited to participate in the Honors in Social Ecology program, in which they learn practices for research design, data collection, and presentation to present a final thesis project with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). 

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School of Social Sciences Honors Programs

Description: The School of Social Sciences offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue research and honors courses in Anthropology, Chicano/Latino Studies, Economics, International Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, and Sociology. 

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Honors in Anthropology

Over the span of four quarters, undergraduate students conduct field research and write an Honors thesis in a process that involves “a combination of library research, exploratory ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and systematic data collection and analysis.” 

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Honors in Chicano/Latino Studies

Senior Chicano/Latino Studies majors who meet major and overall GPA and course requirements, and have submitted “a proposal describing their research question, the relevant background literature, and the method of data collection and analysis,” are free to pursue independent research with a faculty member. 

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Honors in Economics

Undergraduate Economics majors in this honors program are required to complete the Economics Honors Colloquium and an honors thesis, with an emphasis on creative thinking, analysis, problem solving, and writing skills. 

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Honors in International Studies

The International Studies Honors Program is open to outstanding IS students who wish to complete research and an honors thesis. 

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Honors in Political Science

The Political Science Honors Program consists of a GPA requirement, an upper-division political science course, and a faculty-supervised thesis. 

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Honors in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences majors engage in advanced scientific research to strengthen their skills for graduate study. 

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Honors in Sociology 

Outstanding Junior and senior Sociology majors are encouraged to engage in seminar collaboration, guest lectures, and empirical analysis and sociological data to graduate with Honors. 

Research & Creative Excellence Programs

Campuswide Honors Collegium

Description: Students with academic excellence, a passion for learning and growth, and those who value creativity and collaboration can be selected to be a part of the prestigious CHC, a program dedicated towards providing a community, network, and a wide amount of academic opportunities to help students achieve academic success and prosperity. 

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DECADE PLUS

Description: The DECADE PLUS program provides the proper resources, mentorship and guidance in order to retain the eligibility of incoming Chancellor’s Excellence Scholars and enhance the professional success of graduate students. 

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Emergency Medicine Research Associates (EMRAP)

Description: EMRAP is a clinical research program that allows students to contribute to research projects through first-hand experiences with patients, receive mentorship from UC Irvine's School of Medicine faculty members, and pursue leadership opportunities within their designated projects. 

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Excellence in Research in Biological Sciences 

Description: Through participation in this program, students in the School of Biological Sciences who are involved in research can present their findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and have them published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research.

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Literary Journalism

Description: Under the School of Humanities, students majoring or minoring in Literary Journalism will study nonfiction writing and reporting techniques, learn about the history and authors that encompass the field, and prepare for graduate programs in journalism. 

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Minor in Creative Writing, Department of English

Description: Open to all undergraduates, the Creative Writing Minor provides instruction in the craft of fiction and poetry through a combination of writing workshops and literature courses.

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Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP)

Description: Motivated students are encouraged to participate in this free five-week on-campus residential program that aims to educate first generation college students by strengthening their research and analytical skills and preparing them for volunteerism and internships through workshops and specific courses. 

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UC LEADS

Description: The University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS) program at UCI provides sophomore students studying S.T.E.M. a research opportunity to work alongside faculty members in order to prepare them to be leaders with the set of skills and knowledge to do research and be accepted to doctoral programs in the future.    

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Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

Description: UROP encourages, guides, and integrates students into the realm of research by providing a space in which students can creatively collaborate on and present their research from all academic disciplines and fields of study at UCI.   

Leadership & Service Excellence Programs

ANTrepreneur Center

Description: At the ANTrepreneur Center, students can find resources, programs, advice and information to develop the right set of skills to start, operate, or grow their own businesses.  

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Arts - Creative Connections

Description: Art majors passionate about teaching are encouraged to apply and participate in this educational arts program that will give them the opportunity to teach and inspire students at the K-12 level. 

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Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation 

Description: At the Blum Center, students have the opportunity to get involved in programs that promote social change and get involved in research that focuses on poverty alleviation.

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Capital Internship Programs (UCDC + Sacramento) 

Description: Students of any major have the opportunity to participate in two internship programs that will allow them to receive professional training and mentorship from experts, network, and gain valuable hands-on work experience. 

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Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication

Description: Students can receive tutoring and mentorship to improve their writing and communication skills, as a means to prepare them for academic, personal and professional success, or apply to become a Writing & Library Research Undergraduate Specialist (WALRUS) tutor and gain valuable professional experience.

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Flying Samaritans

Description: Members of the Flying Samaritans program at UCI have the opportunity to dive into the culture, atmosphere, and clinical flow of health care and have first hand experiences with administrating, translating, and taking vital signs for patients in Tecate, Mexico.

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Global Connect

Description: Through the School of Social Sciences, the Global Connect program aims to decrease the global knowledge gap in secondary education by providing students an age appropriate curriculum in international studies. 

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Learning & Academic Resource Center Learning (LARC)

Description: The LARC is an academic resource students at UCI may implement into their curriculum to maximize their academic performance, or apply to become a Tutorial Leader or Certified Learning Assistant and gain valuable professional experience.

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Minor in Bilingual Education, Department of Spanish & Portuguese

Description: Under the Department of Spanish and Portugese, students will be educated and familiarized with the history, traditions, languages, and diverse cultures of Spanish Speaking communities and gain hands-on experience as a teacher aide/tutor in a bilingual classroom.

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Minor in Civic & Community Engagement, Division of Undergraduate Education

Description: Students of any major can select the Civic and Community Engagement minor to dive into the realm of connections and collaborations and learn how to actively engage and participate as citizens and community members in the 21st century.

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Olive Tree Initiative 

Description: The Olive Tree Initiative program at UCI promotes conflict analysis, negotiation, and resolution by providing students with a sense of community, educating them about conflicts and the proper skills to address them, and fostering discussion in a respectful and informed manner. 

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Saturday Academy of Law (SAL)

Description: Undergraduate students who are passionate about law have the opportunity to become a mentor and representative of UCI Law, in which they will help facilitate lesson plans to provide ninth grade students with an opportunity to improve their writing, reading, and knowledge about the field of law.

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Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE)

Description: This two-year leadership and professional development program encourages and supports high achieving students from all academic fields at UCI to achieve their career goals and ambitions by providing advising, connections to internships and scholarships, community service opportunities, and a network of alumni for guidance.

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Study Abroad Center, Office of Global Engagement

Description: Students have the opportunity to optimize their study abroad experience by receiving guidance from peer advisors, integrating study abroad into their class curriculum, sharing their experiences, globalizing their classroom with faculty around the world, and even teaching abroad! 

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Transfer Student Hub (TSH)

Description: The TSH provides transfer students with workshops, resources, mentorship opportunities, and a sense of community to enhance and facilitate their transition and academic and social experiences at UCI. 

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Undecided/Undeclared Advising Program 

Description: The U/U advising program helps first year students transition into UCI by providing academic advising and mentorship in order for students to make informed decisions about their educational and career ambitions.   

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U-Teach

Description: The U-Teach program gives upper division UCI undergraduates the opportunity to integrate teaching, research and learning by allowing them to teach their own lower division seminar course of their choice.